How to Be a Good SDR: Best Practices From Top Industry Experts

It’s not enough just to be a sales development representative, it’s important to understand what strategies and tactics to implement in order to succeed. In this article, we will share SDR best practices both from the perspective of the employee and team lead. This is the 2nd article in our series related to SDR where we’ve talked with several SDRs in the Fortune 500 enterprises. If you haven’t checked the first post yet, follow the link to find out what SDR is.

How to Be a Good Sales Development Representative

SDR best practices include everything from working on powerful sales outreach processes and sequence creation to constant personal and professional skill development. In this position, employees spend most of their time calling, messaging, and communicating with potential clients. The one and only result every SDR seeks is to get their prospect to convert. Each of the above-mentioned processes needs to be fine-tuned and consistent. 


Now let’s find out more about the activities that can improve your performance as a sales development rep.

Create strong messaging and cold calling strategies

“Messaging strategy and cold calling are two skills that I’ve really honed in on in this role. Based on the seniority of the person I’m reaching out to, I may spend a significant amount of time drafting one-off messages that will be as effective as possible in getting a response. As far as cold calling, the importance of tone, respect, and brevity are key in making the people you reach out to actually want to speak with you”, says one of our interviewees.


This is the clearest advice among all of the SDR tips. Take some time to work on your email or a message on social media for every prospect to make it more personal. Check with your manager if needed to see whether this wording can work out. When making a call, stay focused and listen to your prospect to hear out his/her key pain points and challenges, since you are the one person who can help your clients solve them all.

Personal and professional development

Motivation and inspiration are the driving forces for every SDR’s success. Besides the training provided by your employer, it’s important to pay attention to self-education. Invest in developing both your personal and sales qualities, also known and soft and hard skills, to help you deal with stress you might face while working in this position. For instance, compassion and honesty can help you establish stronger connections with your clients while broadening your knowledge in existing products and services will make you a true professional in your market. If you want to implement SDR best practices, you should first work on yourself. 

Ask the right questions

At the top of the sales funnel, your goal as an SDR is to ask the right questions to make a proper lead qualification. These questions need to be complicated and challenging to make your potential clients think of what problems they actually face. If you ask the right questions, you are likely to get the right answers and will be able to help your prospect with the solution. 

Learn how to work with sales engagement platforms

Technologies aim to make our lives easier. Modern sales engagement and CRM platforms are useful tools that help salespeople to streamline their daily operations and delegate repetitive tasks to machines. As a result, sales teams have more time to personalize their communication with clients and to develop both soft and hard skills. Such platforms as Salesforce or MS Dynamics provide reps with opportunities to improve and diversify their outreach activities, keep track of their performance and analyze it. 

Follow-ups are important

Well-massaged and thought-through follow-up message as one of the key components of future success. Your potential clients might be interested in your products and services but they also can be extremely busy and not return to your calls. Follow-ups are important as you might reach your prospect in two or three weeks after the 1st call and close a great deal. Keep reminding your prospect about your company is crucial as they might forget to call you back or reply to the email you’ve sent. But once they see the follow-up from you, they are likely to get back to the conversation.   

How It’s Best to Manage SDRs

Since we’ve figured out how to be a successful sales development representative, it’s time to find out how to manage employees taking this position efficiently. 

Establish proper integration with a sales engagement platform

As we’ve mentioned before, technologies play one of the biggest roles in the sales process. For instance, a proper Salesforce integration guarantees your company’s entire IT infrastructure will work as a single well-balanced system. Additionally, such platforms should be customized in accordance with your business needs to align perfectly with the company’s operations. It will help you sales and marketing departments to improve communication inside the team and with clients. 

Powerful sequence development

“I focus more on quality than quantity when reaching out to prospects. Decision-makers at enterprise companies get hundreds of emails a day from SDRs, marketers, and other people vying for their limited time. Doing 3 minutes of research and writing an email that is specific to a prospect is something that has helped me be successful in the role and stand out in the crowded field of C-levels inboxes”, says one of the SDR team managers. 


Giving your team a sales engagement tool is not enough. Your reps won’t be as effective as they can be without a proper sequence development. Think through every step and activity your team members should take, including emailing, calling, etc.,  to get maximum results out of a conversation with a prospect.

Set proper KPIs

Every company sets its own goals that need to be reached. The same works for key departments within the organization. As a manager, you need to set KPIs for your reps such as the number of calls per day. These are not supposed to be strict indicators that your employees should meet under any circumstances as no one can work under pressure. 

Training and coaching matters

Provide your team with monthly training sessions to let your employees develop both soft and hard skills. Help them grow personally and professionally and you’ll see how positively it will affect your future sales rates. 

Run tests and improve

As long as your team is set up, has all the tools, and implements SDR best practices, all you have to do is to keep an eye on their performance and find new ways to improve. Test new activities to see if they work both for your team and audience, introduce new features and tools to check their effectiveness. With the help of a trial and error method, you can reveal more opportunities to grow as a team. 


If you are looking for professional support for your company, check out the OMI services to learn more about our solutions. Reach out to our experts today to get a free quote and let your business gain competitive advantage. 

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